Somali president is planning to fly to the breakaway northern Somalia enclave of Somaliland, the government said on Sunday in a rare and first trip laden with significance by a Somali leader to the region which often looks it’s history with Somalia through binoculars of conflict and resentment since 1990s.
It was not immediately clear how Somaliland which declared a unilateral independence from the rest of Somalia in 1991 will react to the proposed visit by Somali president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo who has long reiterated his government’s willingness in solving dispute with Somaliland through talks.
However, Mahdi Mohamed Guled, Somalia’s deputy prime minister told BBC’s Somali service that it was high time for the Somali president to travel to Somaliland to advance talks with the semi-desert breakaway territory despite the collapse of several rounds of talks with the previous government.“It’s actually the right time for the president to fly to Hargeysa in order to enable the resumption of talks between the two sides.” He said in an interview on Sunday, referring to Somaliland’s capital.
Mr. Guled, a politician who hails from Somaliland has also called for Somaliland’s president Muse Bihi to pay a similar relationship-building trip to the Somali capital.
Somaliland, aggrieved by the deadly pursuit of its armed secessionist struggle for an independence by Siad Barre’s regime which killed tens of thousands of people in 1990s has declared an independence after armed warlords overthrew Somalia’s central government 1991.
However, no country has so far recognized it as an independent state.
The two sides have since held several previous rounds of high-profile talks. However all have failed to make breakthrough after the two sides maintained a firm ground against each other, a move that officials said complicated mediation efforts by the Turkish government which sponsored the talks.
During the talks, Somaliland leaders had insisted that Somaliland’s ‘independence’ would remain out of touch during the talks as opposed to Somalia’s efforts to convince the enclave to reunite with it, an approach long dismissed by Somaliland.